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US said to investigate AT&T, Verizon over wireless collusion claim

US said to investigate AT&T, Verizon over wireless collusion claim

In yet another example of why American consumers have such little faith in AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the two companies are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over whether they colluded to sabotage the eSIM standard.

The new technology offers universal standard for eSIM that allows consumers to switch wireless providers without having to insert a new physical SIM card, which is a microchip.

The G.S.M.A., a mobile industry standards-setting group, is also part of the investigation, according to the NY Times.

Comey says he doesn't expect Trump will fire Mueller
Attorney for the District of Columbia, which is now considering whether or not to investigate and prosecute the matter. The Times reported at the time that Trump was irritated at Flynn for delaying such a call with President Vladimir V.

News of the investigation comes as the Justice Department's trial to block AT&T's $85 billion Time Warner merger draws to a close. This would make it impossible for customers to switch carriers and runs counter to the objective of eSIM.

Representatives from Verizon Wireless and AT&T acknowledged the inquiry by the Justice Department, with a Verizon spokesman telling the NYTimes that the issue was "much ado about nothing". People typically have to buy a new SIM card when changing carriers. For companies like Apple, eSIM technology would free up storage space in devices to use for other technologies like bigger processors and batteries. The development of such a standard would be antithetical to the benefits of an embedded SIM, and if passed, would effectively sabotage the technology which is poised to be the successor to the SIM card.

The "technical capability" highlighted by the Justice Department concerns the development of eSIMs - a relatively new technology that could someday allow consumers to switch wireless providers with little more than a few taps on their smartphone screen. In late 2013, under pressure by the Federal Communications Commission, the wireless industry agreed to let people take devices off any particular network without penalty once the devices were fully paid for.

Why I Changed My Stance on Marijuana - Chuck Schumer
With this, marijuana is prosecuted as seriously as other Schedule I drugs like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy among others. Under current federal law, marijuana is treated as though it's as unsafe as heroin and more risky than cocaine.

All three carriers have confirmed the existence of this investigation.

Harold Fled, a VP of them consumer protection group Public Knowledge, said that he was briefed on a meeting a year ago where AT&T and Verizon discussed pushing for device locking, and Verizon claimed that it needed to protect against theft and fraud.

Verizon claimed it needed to be able to lock down phones to prevent theft and fraud, but Ferras Vinh, a policy expert at the Center for Democracy and Technology noted: "The actions would limit choice for consumers and harm competition".

Emergency Officials Warn of Life-Threatening Fire Conditions In Northwest Oklahoma
Extreme fire behavior Tuesday, April 17, led to numerous evacuations in the area north and east of the Rhea Fire in Oklahoma. So far, the 34 Complex wildfire in Woodward County has burned 67,776 acres and is believed to be about 45 percent contained.


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